Compare Mortgage Rates

Should you lock or float your mortgage?

When the offer on your home is accepted, you’ll start the process of securing the mortgage for your home. Lenders will give you the option to lock or float your mortgage rate prior to closing (which typically happens 30 days after the offer is accepted).

“Locking” your mortgage means that you and your lender have agreed on an interest rate and price for your home loan. Once your loan is locked, that’s the rate and price you get, regardless of what happens in the financial markets. If rates go up, you’re protected; but if rates go down, you won’t benefit either — you close your loan at the rate you’ve locked and you can’t change it. Locks have expiration dates ranging from 30 to 60 days or more, and the longer your lock period, the more it costs. If you don’t close your loan on time, you could end up paying a higher interest rate.

Every day, LendingTree posts our recommendation (below) on whether you should lock or float your rate, so make sure to check back here prior to making your decision.

Mortgage types

The type of mortgage you get will affect the type of mortgage rate you qualify for. See below for the most common types of mortgages and what rates you could be eligible for.

Conventional mortgage

A conventional mortgage is one that is not insured by a government agency, such as HUD/FHA. It’s typically a fixed-rate 30-year loan and the buyer must put down at least 20 percent of the purchase price of the home to qualify. Conventional mortgages typically come with excellent mortgage rates because of the down payment and stringent credit score requirements.

FHA Mortgage

FHA mortgages are perfect for buyers with less than 20 percent down, a less-than-ideal credit score or first-time home buyers. Since these loans are backed and insured by the federal government, lenders are able to offer low, competitive rates to buyers. You can view current, up-to-date rates from our top-rated FHA lenders to see what type of rate you’d be eligible for.

VA Mortgage

VA mortgages are reserved for veterans, active-duty personnel, Reservist/National Guard members, and their eligible surviving spouses. VA loans are incredibly attractive to those that qualify because of their no down payment requirement, no mortgage insurance premiums, low closing costs and low, negotiable interest rates.

Additional resources


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Start preparing your finances now in order to receive the best rate possible on your mortgage.

How To Get the Best Rate


Tips on whether or not you should apply for a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Is an ARM Right for You?

How much house can I afford?

Use our Home Affordability Calculator to see how much house you can afford. Simply plug in your gross annual income, down payment amount, monthly debts and credit score. Our calculator will give you a range of conservative home prices up to aggressive ones.

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Mortgage rates by state

Mortgage rates can vary a lot between lenders on any given day. So, if you only get one mortgage quote, you won’t have any idea if there’s a better deal out there. That’s why the best way to get a mortgage rate it to request quotes from multiple lenders and compare interest rates, loan terms and closing costs. It puts you on in charge and keeps the banks competing to get you the best rate possible. Remember, even .1 percent can amount to thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. Make sure you shop around!